Suppose a neighbour decides on some DIY gas work, and hasn't a clue about
how to do it correctly. And blows up your house. Or doesn't follow
plumbing regs and poisons your water. Or takes a load bearing wall down
which effects the integrity of your structure?
Or perhaps likes noisy parties every night? Or wants to run a brothel?
All these with in the confines of his own house, and perfectly ok in your
ideal world where the state leaves everyone to do their own thing
* What do they call a coffee break at the Lipton Tea Company? *
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW 12
On 4 Oct 2003 14:44:35 GMT, email@example.com (Huge) wrote:
According to the horses mouth - Nick Raynsford MP who is the minister
in charge of this shoddy legislation - his following response was
returned - I have a copy of the official letter from him to me. I
quote his words verbatim:
"We estimate the new requirements should reduce the number of deaths
by about 8 per year, injuries by about 550 per year and fires by about
1500 per year in England and Wales. These are reductions of up to 30%
over the current rates and the savings from these reductions
significantly outweigh the extra costs arising from the new
If they spent half as much money on an anti-smoking campaign.....!
I have countered this, using figures from this RoSPA document:
Essentially by a process of simple statistical analysis from the
authoritative figures available from RoSPA Nick Raynsford is happy to
be saving more lives and injuries than are being lost or incurred from
casualties incurred from electrical infrastructure (not appliances,
which are not covered by the new regs).
I'm awaiting a further reply. Watch this space.
He needs to arrange for somebody to write the next form letter for
him..... This is part of the standard response. In his reply to
me, Raynsford completely ducked some very pertinent issues that I
wrote to John Redwood about and asked to be forwarded to him..
Same here. I have followed up with a reply where I have kept very
specifically to fact, asking for answers from Nick Raynsford. I have
also asked Nick Raynsford to get out from behind his desk and do some
site visits with me to find out what the real world is about.
I expect to receive the same sort of hogwash back.
They made a big mistake in the calculations though -- they included
all the incidents due to appliances (which is most of them), not just
those due to the electrical installation. If you use the right figures,
the lives saved per year is less than one. I don't know where the 30%
comes from -- the government's Regulatory Impact Assessment of the
proposed legislation calculated a drop of 20% in deaths and 10% in
injuries (or was it the other way round, I forget now).
Oh, hang on -- got it -- if you add those two numbers togther, you get
30% -- that's on a par with the quality of the rest of the technical
He is, of course, making the standard politicians error of assuming that
everyone will obey the law. What actually happens is that the worst
offenders ignore the new laws in the same way they ignored the old
ones and the benefit obtained is *much* smaller than that predicted.
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
The uk.transport FAQ; http://www.huge.org.uk/transport/FAQ.html
It's the same with those that call for stiffer penalties for whatever.
Unless there is a fair chance of being caught after breaking the law, the
penalty acts as no deterrent whatsoever to the criminal. And the more new
laws that are passed, the less chance there is of the existing ones being
I wonder if the introduction of speed cameras has caused the increase in
drunk driving? At one time, stopping a driver for speeding gave the police
a cause to breathalyse them.
I also wonder what all those police released from traffic duties now do -
you certainly don't see them on other patrols.
*A fool and his money can throw one hell of a party.
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW 12
One thing that I am sure will result from this stupid legislation is
that people who were previously inclined to obey the law may in future
decide that lawbreaking is worth the risk. So as a result the number
of "crimes" will rise.
Sir John Harvey Jones, ex-ICI chairman, made a statement some time ago
that very often when a new law is introduced to combat a specific
problem area the end result is the exact opposite of what was
intended. I think these new electrical regulations may well have that
There is also a perception aspect.
Think about gas fitting as a comparison. I bet that if I asked
people in the plumbing section of B&Q Warehouse whether they had done
or would consider installing a gas appliance, the vast majority would
say no. Let's assume that people would answer honestly because the
question is non-attributable - artificial I know, but needed to make
B&Q does stock most of the materials needed for installing gas
- copper pipe and fittings which are generic
- selection of black iron fittings
- cooker bayonet outlets and hoses
- isolating valves
- soft copper kits to connect fires
- thick PTFE tape
- smoke matches
You have to look for these things but they are there.
I suspect that for most people there is a perception that gas is
inherently dangerous and is the preserve of the professional.
Now consider electrical work.
In the same branch of B&Q, you will find a very comprehensive
selection of electrical goods ranging from consumer units to light
fititngs and conduit to earth rods - in fact almost as much as an
electrical wholesaler; albeit rather more expensive. There is
normally at least a full aisle of the stuff.
This stuff must move, because retailers measure shelf space in revenue
per square metre per annum.
So essentially people are used to doing electrical work on their
property and do not perceive this as being unsafe.
Do I think that B&Q will withdraw electrical goods that will
implicitly require NICEIC member installation or a visit from the
building inspector? No.
Do I think that they will put up warning notices and give leaflets to
every customer? Possibly.
I bet that if I were to ask the average punter whether he will take
notice of the new regulations, the answer will be no because he has
always done his own electrical work.
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
"Andy Hall" wrote
| There is also a perception aspect.
| Think about gas fitting as a comparison. I bet that if I asked
| people in the plumbing section of B&Q Warehouse whether they had done
| or would consider installing a gas appliance, the vast majority would
| say no. Let's assume that people would answer honestly because the
| question is non-attributable - artificial I know, but needed to make
| the point.
| B&Q does stock most of the materials needed for installing gas
including gas fires and boilers themselves
| I suspect that for most people there is a perception that gas is
| inherently dangerous and is the preserve of the professional.
| Now consider electrical work. ...
| So essentially people are used to doing electrical work on their
| property and do not perceive this as being unsafe....
| I bet that if I were to ask the average punter whether he will take
| notice of the new regulations, the answer will be no because he has
| always done his own electrical work.
Also, even if gasfitting *was* Corgi only, it wouldn't have that big an
effect. Most households only have a boiler, cooker, lounge fire, and these
aren't moved or changed very often.
However there are many more electrical appliances and sockets and people do
move these around, change fittings, want to add a spur, etc. In many cases a
reasonable diy job is safer than a temporary lash-up with flexes round the
skirting etc. And the new regs won't stop those people who extend table lamp
flexes with terminal strip or <public information film> plug in their drill
with matchsticks instead of a proper plug </>, etc.
Provided someone uses the proper accessories and follows the Readers Digest
pictures carefully, it's difficult to do a really dangerous job. Unlike gas,
which leaks out slowly and then goes Bang! modern electrical systems are
pretty well protected with MCBs and RCDs that they are generally fail-safe.
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